Visionary proposals for a mythic and strange architecture—or anarchitecture—through which we can imagine other and better worlds.
Lurking under the surface of our modern world lies an unseen architecture—or anarchitecture. It is a possible architecture, an analogous architecture, an architecture of anarchy, which haunts in the form of monsters that are humans and machines and cities all at once; or takes the form of explosions, veils, queer, playful spaces, or visions from artwork and video games. In The Monster Leviathan, Aaron Betsky traces anarchitecture through texts, design, and art of the twentieth and early twenty-first century, and suggests that these ephemeral evocations are concrete proposals in and of themselves. Neither working models nor suggestions for new forms, they are scenes just believable enough to convince us they exist, or just fantastical enough to open our eyes.
The Monster Leviathan gives students and lovers of architecture, as well as those hoping to construct a better, more sustainable, and socially just future, a set of tools through which they can imagine that such other worlds are possible. As Betsky eloquently articulates, anarchitecture already exists and does not exist at all. It is the myth of building, and all we have to do is find it.
Aaron Betsky is Professor in the School of Architecture and Design at Virginia Tech. He has served as Dean and President of the School of Architecture at Taliesin (2015–2020), Director of the Cincinnati Art Museum (2006–2014) and the Netherlands Architecture Institute (2001–2006), as well as Curator of Architecture and Design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1995–2001). In 2008, he also directed the 11th Venice International Biennale of Architecture.
“[A] substantial instalment... hugely ambitious... this will be one of those books that follows the reader around.”